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Bob Olhsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:    Karl Miller writes:
>James Levine supposedly makes over $3.5M a year, a combination of his Boston 
>and Met appointments. What does he bring that could possibly justify the 
>expense? 

****More income than whatever additional amount he costs! What makes you think they would pay that much if they didn't have to?
   
  That is my point, namely that a reality might be predicated on a set of values not shared by all. In short, I question why they might think they have to pay such salaries, and how that thinking might have evolved.
   
  What does the organization believe it is getting with a Levine? A name, a great conductor? What is the worth of a great conductor in our society? Even the concept of "great" is subjective. However, the thought that the non-profit world can command salaries of the for profit world is, for me, a contradiction in terms.
  
****Salespeople also don't "deserve" what they often earn but the facts of life are that some individuals can make the difference between an organization breaking even and losing a lot of money.
   
  Yes, but we are talking about the non-profit world, where making money is supposedly, not the primary goal...and the arguement about paying the bills is one thing, but creating a bill (a salary) that places an increased need on the development initiatives must be looked at from a variety of perspectives. In the arts one strives for a 50-50 balance between earned and unearned income. According to the American Symphony Orchestra League, American Orchestras (ASOL members total average) get only 36% of their revenue from ticket sales. 
   
  The question should be, what does it cost to have a fine orchestra and what should a conductor be paid. Similarly, what does it take to have a good head of a museum or archive and what should they be paid.
   
  For me, in the world of popular music, salaries are clearly determined by the marketplace...the non profit world, by design, the motivation should be different. Sinatra was paid what income he could generate. It was clear as there was no unearned income as part of the equation.
   
  My take is that there are some perceptions on the parts of governing boards which have produced inflated budgets and have forced some organizations in the non-profit world, to lose site of the reason they were established. For me, it has created some "business" models in the non-profit world that I find to be outrageous.
   
   
  Karl